Forgery is one of the more serious types of theft crimes that an accused can be charged with in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Forgery is typically graded as a felony of the second degree and punishable by a maximum of ten years in state prison and a $15,000 fine. It is imperative that you seek the counsel of an experienced and aggressive Chester County theft crimes attorney Theft Crime lawyers if you have been charged with or are being investigated for the theft crime of forgery. A conviction for this serious crime can be a life changing event. One that can not only carry significant jail time and fines, but also draw the attention of future employers.
In order to be found guilty of the theft crime of forgery, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: read about pleading guilty to a lesser charge here
First the government must prove that the accused acted with the intent to defraud or injure someone or with the knowledge that he was helping a fraud or injury to be committed against someone.
Second, the government must prove that while the accused possessed this intent he either:
(1) alters any writing of another without that person's permission or authority; Or
(2) makes, completes, executes, authenticates, or transfers any writing (such as a check or counterfeit money) so that it appears to have been the act of another person who did not authorize that act.
Under this statute, a writing is defined as a check or credit card or fraudulent money, among other things. A general example of when a forgery occurs is when an accused hands a check that he filled out on another person's account and without that person's permission to a bank teller. Another example of forgery can occur when an accused hands counterfeit money, which he knows to be counterfeit, to a teller at an ACME.